Bruce K. Berger, Ph.D., is Reese Phifer Professor of Advertising & Public Relations in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama (UA). Previously he was chair of the department and director of the MA Program. He teaches public relations management and campaign courses at the undergraduate level, and seminars in persuasion, communication management and international public relations at the graduate level.
Berger earned his Ph.D. in Communication in 1999 at the University of Kentucky. He has received many teaching awards, including the national Educator of the Year Award (2006) from the Public Relations Society of America and the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award (2010) from UA’s National Alumni Association. He also was named Outstanding Student Advisor at UA (2010) for his work with Literacy is the Edge, a student advocacy group.
Prior to entering academia, Berger was a public relations executive and professional for 20 years. From 1989-1996, he was vice president of Corporate Affairs for Whirlpool Corporation and president of the Whirlpool Foundation. He led a team of 90 professionals globally who were responsible for media relations, employee communications, government affairs, financial communications and community relations. From 1975-1989, he worked at the (then) Upjohn Company, a global pharmaceutical company. His assignments included serving as manager of Public Affairs at European headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and later director of Worldwide Human Health Public Relations. He worked on public relations programs in more than 30 countries.
Berger is founding director and a member of the board of the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and a trustee of the Institute for Public Relations. He also is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the Public Relations Society of America, the International Communication Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He serves on editorial review boards for the Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Public Relations Research, Atlantic Journal of Communication, Journal of Communication Studies and International Journal of Strategic Communication.
Research and Publications
Berger’s research focuses on leadership and power and influence in practice. He currently is leading a study of communication management in 18 countries. Previous research has focused on employee communications and public policy influence. He has co-authored one book, edited two others and published more than 50 academic and professional articles in leading scholarly journals and trade publications. From 2007-2009 he co-chaired the national research committee of the Public Relations Society of America. He currently writes a monthly column for PR students and young professionals in PRWeek.